Differences Between Unitised Curtain Walls and Stick Built

Unitised curtain walls and stick built systems are the two main classifications of curtain wall systems. Unitised systems are made of large units (and erected on the building facade). On the other hand, stick built curtain walls are installed piece by piece.

In other words, the differences mainly lie in their method of installation. In addition, they often differ in their method of fabrication. For instance, the large units for unitised systems are already assembled and glazed in the manufacturing site. On the other hand, the parts required for stick systems will be fabricated at the actual work site.

Why choose unitised?

The advantages of unitised systems come from their method of fabrication and installation (units are ready to be installed):

  • Installation requires a shorter time period (may require only 33% of the time compared to stick built systems)
  • Lower labour costs (a direct result of faster installation)
  • High quality because the units are fabricated and glazed in a climate-controlled environment

On-site installation is much faster than unitised systems. However, the fabrication of the units may take 6 months up to a year to be completed. The costs might shift to the fabrication instead of the labour in on-site installation.

When it comes to quality, unitised systems are considered to be superior because units are manufactured in a climate-controlled environment (in contrast to stick built systems where parts fabrication was done in unpredictable conditions).

Why choose stick built systems

Stick-built systems can be more economical especially if the building facades require lower volumes. In addition, the lead time is much shorter. The parts required will be ready which will then allow for earlier installations. However, the installation will take longer because fabrication and glazing will be done on site.

Another possible disadvantage is that the materials require space and time for storage and installation. This could be a challenge especially when there are constraints about the space (e.g. dense cities only allow tight work sites).

Differences between unitised curtain walls and stick built

Which curtain wall system is better? Each job site and project often has different conditions and requirements. This makes it a challenge to select the more cost-effective curtain wall system for a particular building facade.

That’s why here at CGS Facade Group, we perform thorough assessments to maximise cost savings (while achieving structural integrity) on each of our projects. We handle everything from design conception up to inspection after the installation. We also handle the processes in between such as product sourcing and factory inspections of the units to be installed.

Contact us today and let’s discuss your requirements. Our expert team with international experience will respond to your enquiry.